Socialist Workers Party statement

Workers need our own foreign policy

November 13, 2023

Statement by Lea Sherman, Socialist Workers Party candidate for New Jersey General Assembly, Nov. 1.

The one thing all the Democratic and Republican candidates for president share in common is a foreign policy based on defense of the economic and political interests of the propertied capitalist rulers. They like to call this serving “our country.”

But the U.S., like all capitalist powers, is divided between two fundamentally antagonistic classes. Fierce competition for markets and profits drives the ruling rich to assault our jobs, wages, working conditions and the unions. Workers are forced to join together to fight for what our class needs. That irreconcilable class struggle is the starting point of all political questions.

The bosses have two main parties that loyally defend their interests at home and abroad, including their imperialist wars, from Korea, to Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and many more. They use economic blackmail to enforce a damaging embargo against Cuba’s socialist revolution. Both Democrats and Republicans back Washington’s moves to expand its massive arsenal as the rulers prepare more wars. Without a party of our own, workers have no political voice. We need to build a labor party based on the unions and a working-class foreign policy.

Unlike the capitalists, who seek gains by conflicts and war with their rivals, working people worldwide have common class interests.

A working-class foreign policy today starts from the determined fight against the violent Jew-hating attacks that have risen from Dagestan, U.S. campuses and elsewhere, following Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre in Israel. Workers and our unions should join actions against Jew-hatred and defend Israel’s right to exist as a refuge for Jews.

Calls for a cease-fire in the Middle East are a call for the Israeli government to leave Jews defenseless in the face of more inevitable bloody pogroms. Hamas must be soundly defeated or antisemites everywhere will be emboldened.

Workers and our unions should demand the unconditional withdrawal of Moscow’s forces from every inch of Ukraine. Back the courageous struggle of working people in Ukraine to defend their independence and defeat Moscow’s genocidal war!

As long as the capitalist rulers hold power in the U.S. their system of exploitation and oppression will suffer economic breakdowns, mounting conflicts and more wars. As their fear of workers’ struggles deepens, they’ll turn to fascist gangs to defend their rule.

But the epoch of imperialism does not preordain the triumph of fascism. Above all, today is the epoch of world revolution. Capitalism breeds working-class struggle and battles to end national oppression. Workers will have our chance to take power into our own hands, before the rulers plunge us into another Holocaust, third imperialist world war and nuclear annihilation.

Taking on the most violent imperialist ruling class in history and replacing its rule with workers power is the only road forward. A party and leadership capable of this challenge can and must be built in the U.S.

Join the Socialist Workers Party!